[Met Performance] CID:101290
Lucia di Lammermoor {142} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/2/1929.


Metropolitan Opera House
February 2, 1929 Matinee


Lucia...................Amelita Galli-Curci
Edgardo.................Frederick Jagel
Enrico..................Giuseppe De Luca
Raimondo................Léon Rothier
Normanno................Giordano Paltrinieri
Alisa...................Philine Falco
Arturo..................Alfio Tedesco

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza

Review of Charles Isaacson in the New York Telegraph


Ends Brief Season

The farewell of Galli-Curci at the Metropolitan Opera House took place yesterday afternoon. The last scene opened upon the cemetery of the Ravenswoods, in the Italian-Scottish fantasy of "Lucia di Lammermoor." Lucia, which is to say, Galli-Curci had ended her brief season with Mr. Gatti's forces in a burst of delightful madness.

Clad in white, said draperies of the insane heroine, she indulged in a flow of her most delightful song. There were moments of the most exquisite loveliness of the smoothest, most delicate and creamy of tones. If it were possible to overlook the motley background of choristers, Lucia's madness would have been the more understandable. For at this moment, Galli-Curci attains to a curious power of acting. Her movements and her gestures, her kneeling and her frightened half look over the shoulders, all take on the simulation of insanity. She is a haunted creature. One can understand the innocent crime she has committed against her oppressors.

Yesterday afternoon, there was no doubt of the popularity which Galli-Curci has gained with the Metropolitan opera folk. At each curtain she was the recipient of unfeigned and richly enthusiastic applause. And the climax of all was after the Mad Scene. Though scarcely it may be written that Galli-Curci left an impression of her greatest art. The opera was marked by some of the loveliest work of which she is capable, and by some of those distressing inroads upon her previously flawless voice.

No Future Plans

It will be sometime before American audiences hear the diva again, and no word has been forthcoming as to her future plans with the Metropolitan Opera Company. In any event it is an exhilarating thing to muse upon the history of Galli-Curci and the Metropolitan Opera Company. When Galli-Curci first came to America, she had a voice and an ambition. In Italy she had curiously won little fame. Artists who are now proud to bow to Galli-Curci there considered her as one of the coloraturas. She had left Italy for a South American tour, which had been anything but a marked success.

Arriving in this country, she made for the Metropolitan Opera Company, but was refused. She tried her fortunes with other enterprises, even applying at the motion picture theaters, without success. At last, through a process which need not be recounted, she "landed" with the Chicago Opera Company and, to her own amazement, became famous overnight.

It may be assumed that the constant success of Galli-Curci became a thorn in the sides of all who had failed to recognize her beautiful voice. And among the group were the Metropolitan officials. She was at her best, in the very days of her disappointments. I can speak knowingly, for I have heard her since the day she came to these shores.

Won Own Fame

It is interesting to recollect how the New York music folk felt toward her, when first they said "No," and when the big night came and later when she arrived in New York with the Chicago Opera Company. In that season, the Spanish prima donna, Barrientos, was the competition to Galli-Curci, but scarcely sufficient to bear down the wave of public curiosity: "Why not the Metropolitan for Galli-Curci?"

So at last the forces of Gatti-Casazza succumbed. And Galli-Curci sang at the Metropolitan: her [first] performance was in "Traviata," if my memory serves me correctly. And she was magnificent. The voice was flawless. The prima donna has many years of singing before her (she is comparatively a young woman). But that is of the future.

Yesterday afternoon, she was surrounded by a cast not in all respects worthy of her. Though Frederick Jagel is to be commended for his valiant attempts and for his good results, his is not the voice to place opposite the pure quality of Galli-Curci. On the other had, such singing as Giuseppe de Luca gave to Henry Ashton and as Rothier gave to Raymond, were fully worthy.

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